Balkinization offers A Concise Guide for Independent Voters on Nov. 7:
Best reason to vote for Democratic candidates for Congress: Take away majority control of Congress from the corrupt, big-spending, huge deficit-creating, radical religious right-pandering, cut taxes for the rich to help them get richer and give corporations everything they want Republican Party.
Tie breaker for the undecided: The Bush Administration flouts the rule of law, promotes torture (while hiding behind hypocritical double-speak denials), and has taken the country into a disastrous, mismanaged war that has increased the threat of terrorism against the United States and has resulted in the deaths of many tens of thousands of people (with more added to the toll every day). In the absence of a Democratic majority in Congress, the Bush Administration, facing no further elections, will have a free hand to do whatever it wants for the next two years.
I’ll even put it more simply. The worst possible result of a Democratic takeover is Congressional gridlock. But that’s not even so bad, since this Congress hasn’t managed to get anything done either, except for running up the national debt, authorizing torture, pretending that everything in Iraq is groovy, authorizing a disastrous prescription drug benefit for Medicare, and bungling the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast.
At best, a new Congress has to negotiate with the President to find ways to make Bush’s failed policies work. We get lobbying reforms that give power in DC back to voters. We get a minimum wage hike that brings wages for working Americans out of the toilet. We get a Medicare prescription drug benefit that senior citizens can actually navigate, and that saves them money. Heck, maybe we even get policies that lower the cost of health insurance for the rest of America. And the cherry on top will be scrutiny of the way that the occupation of Iraq is practiced.
Congress couldn’t order the troops back if it wanted to, but they could make sure that decisions being made are actually in our best interests as a nation, and in the best interests of our soldiers in harms’ way.